There is always something to do in Madrid!
It’s really hard to get bored in Madrid since there are plenty of “fiestas throughout the whole year. For this reason, it is sometimes difficult to decide what to do or when to visit. Therefore, we have listed the most important public holidays for our students.
|The Holy Week
The most important public holidays are between April and October. The main ones in Madrid are Dos de Mayo, San Isidro, La Paloma and La Almudena. All of the banks, shops and museums are closed on these holidays.
- In April, in the Easter celebrations of Semana Santa (the Holy Week), there are many processions in the streets. The people taking part wear the traditional procession dress and carry models representing the Virgin Mary. However, Semana Santa in Madrid cannot be compared to Semana Santa in Andalucia, where the processions are a lot bigger.
- May 2nd is historically an important day for Madrid. It is the festival of the Comunidad de Madrid (“Community of Madrid”) which takes place in the district of Malasaña. It is celebrated in memory of the rebellion against the French that started in the Puerta del Sol during the War of
Independence and led to the defeat of the French. There are lots of concerts, dance shows and sporting events.
- The 15th of May is the day of a very important festival in Madrid; the Festival of San Isidro. San Isidro is the patron saint of Madrid and it is one of the most famous
festivals of the city. During the course of the festival, the famous Feria Taurina (the bullfighting fair) takes place at the Plaza de las Ventas in Madrid.
- The 13th of June is the day of San Antonio de la Florida. The celebrations take place in the district of Moncloa. According to tradition, you have to put your hand into the baptismal font and the number of pins which stick to your
hand marks the number of boy/girlfriends you will have.
- From 23rd to 24th of June, the Festival of San Juan takes place in the “Parque del Retiro”. On the night of the 23rd of June, there is a fireworks display to celebrate the longest day of the year.
|San Juan Festival
- The first Sunday of July is the day of Nuestra Señora de las Victorias. Most of the celebrations take place in the district of Tetuán and there are several concerts.
- From July 9th-16th, the Festival of the Virgen del Carmen is celebrated in the district of Chamberí. A range of events and music shows take place next to the Canal de Isabel II. From July 9th-17th, celebrations take place in the district of Carabanchel Bajo and from the 8th-17th in the district of Vallecas.
- The 25th of July is the Festival of Santiago which is celebrated in the district of Carabanchel Bajo.
- Around July, “El Festival de Verano en la Villa” (The Summer Festival in the Villa) begins and continues until September. The programme is filled
with a range of events related to cinema, theatre and concerts which take place in different locations, usually outside.
|San Lorenzo Festival
- August is the month of celebration in some of the districts of Madrid. From the 6th to the 15th, the Festivals of San Lorenzo, San Cayetano and la Virgen de la Paloma take place in the district of La Latina, Lavapiés and Las Vistillas. The men dress as "chulapos" (in the traditional Madrid folk
dress) and the women wear “mantones” (traditional embroidered scarves) and dance the typical dance
of Madrid, the “Chotis”. You can see this at any of the fiestas which take place in these three districts. During the first half of August, the fiestas convert the historic centre of Madrid into a constant stream of street parties, with dances and celebrations.
- From September 24th-29th the Fiestas de Otoño (Autumn Festival) takes place in the district of Chamartín.On the 12th of October, it is the Fiesta de Nuestra Señora del Pilar (in the districts of Salamanca, Pilar and Orcasitas). It’s the festival of the “Hispanidad” and there are military processions in the centre of Madrid.
- The 9th of November is the Festival of the Virgen de la Almudena, the female patron saint of the city. Her picture was found in a wall of the Arabic tower “La Puerta de la Vega” (the door of la Vega) where it was hidden from the Moors when they invaded.